Who will be the opening day starter? Answer: Michael Fulmer.
Fulmer is the Tiger’s new ace, and I do not expect him to be traded. The Yankees and Rangers were the two teams to really ask about him. The Rangers do not have the farm system to acquire him. Unless they threw in Nomar Mazara, the Tigers should not trade him to the Rangers.
The Philadelphia Phillies are known to be searching for a young controllable starter, and Fulmer fits that category. It is not known if the Phillies have asked about him though, but they do have a good farm system.
Fulmer will be with the Tigers on opening day 2018, but possibly not opening day 2019.
Fulmer is under team control for 5 more seasons and after two seasons is already worth over 8.0 WAR. In 2016 he was named AL ROY and in 2017 was named to his first All-Star Game. He did struggle in the second half of 2017 and eventually underwent surgery, but he still is a possible Cy Young contender.
Surprsingly, his K/9 number are kind of low for the great stuff Fulmer has. His career K/9 is 6.8, but his BB/9 is only 2.3 and his career WHIP is 1.137. He has a career FIP of 3.71 and an ERA+ of 128. Those are very good numbers, not great, but still solid.
Most folks in the baseball world are predicting another all-star caliber season, and he will possibly be the only all-star representative for the Tigers. He will also be named in Cy Young voting, but unfortunately not recieving the award. Yet.
Next up is the veteran of the Tigers rotation.